You could stand on a corner and look around until a restaurant sign draws you in. But we've got a better idea. Each week, Santee Patch picks a great restaurant, either in town or nearby, that is worth checking out. Here's this week's choice:
Overview: Recently opened near the Santee-Lakeside border, Margaritas offers a sit down, step up from your average hole-in-the-wall Mexican food joint.
Decor: The restaurant features a bar and what they call the "cantina," a more lively bar area after work hours. The color scheme is bright yellow, pink, orange and green, like I said, hard to miss from the road, and perhaps a little jarring in the restaurant. Let's just say I probably would have felt more at home if I'd ordered a margarita with lunch.
Entrees and Sides:
The extensive menu had all the standard Mexican food fare, with a focus on seafood.
I ordered the chimichanga lunch special which included a "mini-chimichanga," rice and beans for $5.99, served weekdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., chili relleno, fish taco, enchilada, chili verde, chili colorado, and carnitas tacos are other options.
The guacamole was delicious, but nothing was notable about it.
The chimichanga was not what I expected, and let me start by saying the menu doesn't say "mini-chimichanga," I just added that to reflect what was on my plate. Not only was the chimichanga about half the size of the average chimichanga I've experienced, it wasn't deep fried, or fried at all. It was more of a mini-beef burrito. Don't get me wrong, the whole plate was delicious. But, the menu should reflect what it is. After reading some Yelp reviews, I've come to wonder if perhaps they gave me the wrong order, as a few reviews complain of, but I was hungry and just ate what was put in front of me.
The chips weren't anything to write home about, but not bad either, they seemed house made. The salsa was a standard red with some tomato and onion chunks in it, quite tasty.
The beans and rice were above average and the shredded beef was seasoned well.
Service: The service was friendly and prompt. Prices were above your hole-in-the-wall joint, but not too high for a nice sit down place, especially with the lunch specials.
Signature Dish: Camarones Tequila- shrimp wrapped in bacon, marinated in spiced tequila